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Iraq Is Running Out of Hind Gunships
medium.com/ blog War is Boring ^ | Jun 22, 2014 | Robert Beckhusen

Posted on 06/22/2014 9:25:57 PM PDT by sukhoi-30mki

ISIS has shot up dozens of helicopters, so Baghdad is going shopping

In the span of a few short years, Iraq went from having a nonexistent air force to having one just barely getting on its feet.

Now Baghdad’s shaky flying corps is getting into real trouble as it tries to contain a worsening civil war. Iraq’s front-line helicopter gunships are taking so much punishment, the government is growing desperate for replacements.

On June 20, the Czech defense ministry revealed that Iraq approached Prague with an offer to buy up to seven Mi-35M Hind gunships—the export version of the famed Mi-24 Hind—for a total of $12 million. “They have shown interest in the helicopters,” Martin Stropnicky, the Czech defense minister, told the Dnes newspaper.

The main culprit for Iraq’s helicopter woes is the Islamic State of Iraq and Al Sham. ISIS forces shot down at least six helicopters between January and May, according to The New York Times. The terror group’s attrition warfare has continued into June as ISIS shot down another helicopter near Fallujah last week.

But the Times report noted a more startling fact. Militants shot up around 60 helicopters—damaging but not destroying them—over the same period. ISIS appears to have largely used heavy anti-aircraft machine guns to do most of the damage.

That’s a huge number of destroyed or damaged helicopters—including Iraq’s growing fleet of Hind gunships. “This represents a significant proportion of the Iraqi Army Aviation Command’s assets,” observed Jeremy Bennie of IHS Jane’s Defense Weekly.

More MANPADS, more problems It’s difficult to determine the exact size of Iraq’s helicopter fleet. But estimates compiled by Jane’s and the Center for Strategic and International Studies puts the number at more than 100 helicopters of various types, including Bell-407 scouts, Eurocopter EC-635 training birds, dual light attack and transport Mi-17 helicopters, among others.

The United States has also sold 24 AH-64 Apache attack helicopters to Iraq, but these are still awaiting delivery after Congress delayed approval until earlier this month.

Iraq’s main current attack helicopter force includes—on paper—around 30 Mi-28NE Havoc and 40 Mi-35M Hinds purchased from Russia. But it’s unclear how many of each kind Iraq received to date. What we do know is that both the Havoc and Hind are in action over Iraq.

In one recent video circulating online, Iraqi Hinds attack and destroy ISIS technical fighting vehicles with rockets, guided missiles and cannon fire. An orbiting surveillance plane zooms its cameras toward the burning vehicles, which were caught out in the open and destroyed by the swooping “armored tanks,” as the Hind is popularly known.

But the big question remains whether ISIS has shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles—otherwise known as MANPADS—of which helicopters are extremely vulnerable. There’s good reason to believe the militants do. ISIS militants filmed themselves firing SA-7 MANPADS in a propaganda video released this month.

ISIS could have acquired these missiles on the black market or by capturing them from the Syrian government. There, the missiles are used with deadly effect against Bashar Al Assad’s helicopter forces. Or ISIS could have acquired the missiles from sympathetic Arab state allies. But how many missiles are circulating around Iraq is a different and much more difficult question.

Either way, the possibility alone is enough to make officials in Washington sweat bullets.

If Pres. Barack Obama orders air strikes to assist the beleaguered Iraqi prime minister Nouri Al Maliki—who has requested U.S. strikes—the presence of MANPADS means American pilots could conceivably be shot down, captured and executed. And that’s a full-blown political nightmare.

But Maliki is already living through his worst nightmare. Massive losses to his air force gives the prime minister all the more reason to want American fighter-bombers flying overhead.


TOPICS: Government
KEYWORDS: aerospace; hind; iraq; mi24; russia; sikorsky

1 posted on 06/22/2014 9:25:58 PM PDT by sukhoi-30mki
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To: sukhoi-30mki

With no regard to one side or the other of the conflict, I have to say the Hind is a worthy kite, and in the right hands arms an admirable foe.


2 posted on 06/22/2014 9:31:33 PM PDT by mylife
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To: mylife

I wonder if Obama is arming both sides?


3 posted on 06/22/2014 9:34:21 PM PDT by GeronL (Vote for Conservatives not for Republicans)
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To: GeronL

No telling.
I have no doubt he is sewing our demise and duplicity all around.

My only interest in this thread is the wonderful aerospace engineering of the soviets when it comes to helicopters.

We Build good stuff too bet lets face it, it was Russian engineers that really perfected it in the first place.

The Hind is a stealthy BEAST


4 posted on 06/22/2014 9:40:53 PM PDT by mylife
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To: mylife

Doubtless the rotary wing aircraft are being shot down by the SAM-7 surface-to-air missiles sequestered from Ghadaffi’s arsenals and shipped to Syrian jihadists by Chris Stevens of Benghazi fame.


5 posted on 06/22/2014 9:43:57 PM PDT by imardmd1 (Fiat Lux)
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To: sukhoi-30mki

“armored tanks,”? We always called them flying tanks.


6 posted on 06/22/2014 9:44:45 PM PDT by BBell (The Blue Dog is Stupid)
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To: imardmd1

Ghaddafi turned over all his **** to us when we went into Iraq.

He said “I dont want no trouble”


7 posted on 06/22/2014 9:46:25 PM PDT by mylife
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Anyhow my only interest in this thread is the Hind Helicopter with I think is a stealthy warhorse.


8 posted on 06/22/2014 9:48:08 PM PDT by mylife
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http://www.businessinsider.com/22-images-show-the-incredible-capabilities-of-the-russian-mi-24-helicopter-2013-7?op=1


9 posted on 06/22/2014 9:51:44 PM PDT by mylife
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To: mylife

but the export versions are probably not as capable


10 posted on 06/22/2014 9:52:39 PM PDT by GeronL (Vote for Conservatives not for Republicans)
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They are way quieter than or BlackHawks.

Ask me how I know.... I had one rise up on me over a mountaintop and never heard it chopping in.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VUwGj6MseNU


11 posted on 06/22/2014 9:56:22 PM PDT by mylife
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To: GeronL

No Doubt.

Thats the arms trade for ya.


12 posted on 06/22/2014 9:57:05 PM PDT by mylife
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To: sukhoi-30mki

If you got decent pilots, decent supply lines and a good air crew, these things are meaner than cat shit.


13 posted on 06/22/2014 10:01:17 PM PDT by mylife
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yT23BQwSoSA


14 posted on 06/22/2014 10:06:25 PM PDT by mylife
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To: mylife
And it was all done with analog engineering. My next door neighbor worked in a soviet design bureau calculating rotor stresses on a slipstick.
15 posted on 06/22/2014 10:07:05 PM PDT by higgmeister ( In the Shadow of The Big Chicken!)
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To: GeronL

Of course!

Paul: US has been arming ISIS in Syria

http://thehill.com/policy/international/210168-us-has-been-arming-isis-in-syria-sen-paul-claims


16 posted on 06/22/2014 10:14:46 PM PDT by Jack Hydrazine (Pubbies = national collectivists; Dems = international collectivists; We need a second party!)
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To: higgmeister

Well ya gotta give Ivan his due respect.

LOL


17 posted on 06/22/2014 10:18:08 PM PDT by mylife
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To: higgmeister

I chased Ivan all around this word, and own half his shit now, but I never underestimated him.


18 posted on 06/22/2014 10:19:56 PM PDT by mylife
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To: higgmeister

Interesting aside.
I was watching some show about the space race on France Channel 5.

They were showing the whole sputnik thing in a way you would never see on American TV, And truth is we all know USSR beat us to the punch.

Did we dominate them later?

Sure...

But you have ta admire Ivan.
Never underestimate him.

I should say the same of our Arab and Chinese adversaries.
Though they are not innovators.


19 posted on 06/22/2014 10:25:19 PM PDT by mylife
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To: higgmeister

One of the old jokes on the subs was we were chasing “Ivan Attitude”


20 posted on 06/22/2014 10:27:12 PM PDT by mylife
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Comment #21 Removed by Moderator

http://idtp.ru/video/ZAPf3KbNIuU/Wings-of-the-Red-Star-Mi-24-Hind-VERY-RARE-EPISODE-1998.html


22 posted on 06/22/2014 10:58:06 PM PDT by mylife
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To: mylife

I believe in the meme of the harsh Winters providing them an extra measure of tenacity and perseverance.


23 posted on 06/22/2014 11:20:21 PM PDT by higgmeister ( In the Shadow of The Big Chicken!)
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To: higgmeister

Never underestimate your adversary. ;)


24 posted on 06/22/2014 11:56:18 PM PDT by mylife
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To: mylife

We Build good stuff too bet lets face it, it was Russian engineers that really perfected it in the first place.

The Hind is a stealthy BEAST


They are almost perfection. Fast, nasty, unstable as hell at speed - which you need when you are evading or attacking something faster than you, yet the belly armor makes them a rock solid attack platform at lower speeds.

I’ll give the Apache points for sheer nastiness in terms of load out and attack capability, and it’s far lower radar sig, but the Apache can’t pick up a squad who are up the proverbial creek. The Hind can, and the recommended load is more of a suggestion than a rule. You can cram 14 people with full kit into a compartment built for 8 if they don’t mind getting cozy.

Almost everything in the cockpit is analogue, which is useful since the voltage spikes when you hit full power usually trip at least one of the circuit breakers. It’s pretty much entirely black box for repairs - you just plug in replacement components for the systems as needed. None of this touch screen nonsense - toggle switches and push buttons are the order of the day. They are rough as hell. Uncomfortable, but totally magic.

For a fun video on start up: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oDRf7f_rHu4

As you can tell - I adore these machines. Been flying them since Rwanda and have exactly zero intention of stopping doing so.

I heard a rumor that the entire design philosophy behind the A-10 were based on the Hind, down to the heavy belly armor and the modular design.


25 posted on 06/23/2014 1:57:59 AM PDT by EC1
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To: EC1

Good synopsis.


26 posted on 06/23/2014 6:16:28 AM PDT by mylife
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ytjMaEhNw6M


27 posted on 06/23/2014 6:37:37 AM PDT by mylife
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To: sukhoi-30mki

The more complex aircraft require highly trained flight crews to operate them and even better trained repair crews to keep them flying. I suspect they are short of the repair technicians.


28 posted on 06/23/2014 1:24:45 PM PDT by B4Ranch (Name your illness, do a Google & YouTube search with "hydrogen peroxide". Do it and be surprised.)
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